Monday, January 18, 2016

Things in Jars

Snacking is the enemy of the healthy diet. Fact. Eating good things for lunch or dinner is easy if you're someone who cooks. Snacking is evil, because all the things that are highly convenient - bite-sized pieces in a neat little pack - are usually awesome, but not recommended in large doses.

So I became the enemy of my enemy. I put convenient, bite-sized things in jars.

You will need vinegar, sugar, and spices. For every cup of vinegar, you add 3/4 cup of sugar. The choice of vinegar is important, since it's the flavour you're going to taste, along with the spices. My personal favourite is apple/pear vinegar, or white wine vinegar. Please note that red vine vinegar will also colour your veggies a little bit. If you don't mind that, go ahead.

Bring the vinegar and the sugar to a boil, cook until all the sugar has dissolved, then let cool. Cut your veggies into nice, medium-sized pieces, and put them in jars. Fill 2/3 of the jar with the vinegar. Add dried spices.

Preferred veggies: cucumber (duh!), peppers, onions, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli. Be creative, use your favourites! In a jar in the fridge, your pickled salad will keep for about two weeks.

Preferred spices and herbs: everything dried; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (sing it!).... basil, you get the idea. I also like to use pepper, cardamom, cumin. I don't like anise, personally, and it's a very strong ingredient, but if you're into it, give it a shot.

A note on tomatoes: tomatoes are not vegetables, they are fruits. Fruits, in general, contain too much water to conserve well. You can add tomatoes, but you have to eat the result soon.

A note on garlic and ginger: use very, very little, if at all. Time is a close friend of those two, and after a while, that's all you're gonna taste in that jar.

A note on beets: the content of your jar will be pink. That's what beets do best. They are a well-known dye. I personally like to combine cauliflower and beets.

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